For the last few days, we've had nasty weather: howling wind, lots of rain. We desperately need the rain so no one was complaining, but it does mean some adjustment for the beasties.
Normally everyone scoots under the awning to get out of the weather -- except poor Matilda. My favorite elderly Jersey is the bottom rung of the cow pecking order, so invariably she's out in the wet.
In other words, it's time to get into our winter routine, which includes tucking Matilda, her adult daughter Amy, Amy's yearling calf Hector (follow-up on Hector here), and our other Jersey Polly into the barn. This is special treatment I give our Jerseys, who aren't quite as hardy as the Dexters.
No bovines have been in the barn all summer, so naturally it became the repository of all kinds of stuff (rolls of chicken wire, in this photo). The first step was to clean everything out.
Next I had to find the tub I use for the larger pen. This I filled with water for Matilda, Amy, and Hector (Polly has a separate pen with a smaller bucket).
Next I hauled some hay for nighttime feed. It was so windy that hay kept getting blown out of the sled and dumped down the driveway.
The three animals in the larger pen get a large pile of hay...
...and Polly's smaller pen gets a small pile of hay.
The chickens, of course, assume this is all for their benefit.
When it came time to call the animals into the pen -- the first time since last spring -- they didn't hesitate. In fact, Amy all but galloped in. Probably their thinking was, "What TOOK you so long?"
In the morning, of course, it means extra time in the barn since I have to muck things out, get fresh hay, fill the water tubs, etc.
But when I lay in bed at night and listen to the rain on the roof and the wind howling under the eaves, I'm glad the animals are snug and sheltered.
Yep, winter's a-comin'. The chores reflect that.